I have now been in Sweden for six weeks and It feels like ages. I have adjusted to the cold, “there is no such thing as cold weather – just insufficient clothing’” apparently… This is why you have to prepare yourself for 15 minutes of layering before you head out the door. To make sure you have everything. I lost my hat and gloves on alternate days for the first two weeks. The cold is counteracted somewhat with continual opportunities for Fika, which usually involves lots of coffee and cinnamon buns. It is therefore no surprise that Sweden is the largest consumer of coffee per capita.
The public transport system is efficient and green run.You can take to the roads on one of the many second hand bikes or hire one around Malmö bike. Unlike Australia bikes seem to have right of way over cars and pedestrians, no wonder its the worlds 6th most friendly bike city in the world. Whole lanes are devoted to them as well as the roads and the pavement. Which was useful to me as I hadn’t ridden a bike since my BMX when I was 13 and hit a pedestrian, ever so slightly, within my first hour of being on the bike. The women explained extremely rationally and reasonably that she didn’t have a problem with bikes on the pavement, it was just that she already had an injured leg. It is this kind of rational reasoning that drew my attention towards studying at Malmö.
To be part of Swedens’ innovative approach to tackling the world’s present challenges using creative and non-judgemental methods to produce new ideas and solutions. I haven’t been disappointed, although I have been challenged. Malmö as an educational entity encourages independent and creative thinking, while focusing on transparent rationality in the practical application of knowledge. I found this approach unstructured and confusing until I realised I had to find my own creative process to problem solving. It requires a self directed collaborative approach working with other students, which do well.
This brings me to the topic of student organisations and activities. There are a myriad of options to immerse yourself in, from guest lectures to trips to Russia, Lapland and Morocco; or sea battles, pub crawls and the many party’s. Although I have mainly been studying, I intend to venture further and will keep you posted.
Natalie Rudland-Wood, Bachelor of International Studies student, Semester 1 2017 exchange at Malmo University, Sweden
- Read Natale’s 1st post here